According to research, staying in an unhappy relationship can negatively impact your happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and overall health. Unfortunately, too many people remain in unhealthy and even toxic relationships.
It is possible that you are reading this post and feel so worn down that you aren’t even aware of whether your relationship is toxic. There are several signs described below that may help you identify whether you’re in such a relationship and what you can do to change for a more fulfilling life.
Three Signs You Are in a Toxic Relationship
1. Holding Grudges
The behavior pattern of bringing up old resentments and holding grudges is typical of toxic relationships, leading to distractions, distance, and disconnection. Often, toxic relationships are characterized by the inability to communicate about and manage resentments. Rigid resentments become racing negative emotions that keep accelerating as partners lean into toxic thought patterns. The result is that relationships are frequently doomed to fail.
Do you frequently get (or give) the silent treatment? When you try to clear the air with your partner, does he or she disappear into it? Is your partner confusing you with hot and cold messages and behaviors? Are they denying you affection and then accusing you of being needy? These are all signs of avoidant behavior.
John Gottman, a psychologist and author, believes that contempt is highly destructive in loving relationships. A distasteful joke made by your partner may indicate contempt for you. It is also possible to show contempt by criticizing your partner in public. Loved ones who tear you down with incessant fault-finding attacks are highly demoralizing and unhealthy.
Is Couples Counseling Right for You?
Couples experiencing relationship problems should seek the assistance of couples therapists to improve their relationships. Therapy may benefit a relationship if both partners commit to reducing toxic behaviors.
In order to gain the courage to leave an unhealthy, toxic relationship or seek couples counseling, remember these three words: “Know your value.”
Knowing your value means feeling good about who you are, how you have grown, and what you bring to a loving relationship. The way you feel and think about yourself plays a key role in your self-esteem from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. By stating, “I know my value,” you will keep yourself safe from further harm and be empowered to stand up for your beliefs.
Maintaining your integrity
Think about how you would react if a family member or close friend wanted to return to a toxic relationship if you have trouble remembering your value. Putting yourself in the perspective of someone else can help you value yourself, and move on to a healthier place. Regardless of whether or not the relationship was healthy, it’s natural to miss an ex. Any relationship usually has some positive aspects. Remember, however, that missing times when you felt good does not mean that person was or is good for you.